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Livingston sisters successful in the unusual sport of ski-joring



Montana – Skiers and horses flocked to the Red Lodge rodeo grounds over the weekend as the national Ski-Joring finals came to a finish on Sunday afternoon.

The national finals of this year’s Ski-Joring sport attracted competitors from all over the country. Ski-Joring mixes skiing and equestrian riding.

The Alverson sisters from Livingston were the two youngest competitors in the entire field, and they have been taking part in the unusual sport for as long as they can remember.

“I honestly don’t remember much from the first event,” Phoebe Alverson said Sunday morning. “I was really young. I just remember as we kept going to more and more and meeting new people it was just super fun.”

When they were younger than ten years old, Phoebe (15) and her older sister Fiona (17) took part in Ski-Joring for the first time. They initially encountered only adult competitors in their competitions.

“We were really young competing against only adults,” Fiona said. “Like, I don’t think there was another kid at the event.”

Still, the sisters made a lot of progress and had great promise. They soon advanced to greater ability levels, but more significantly, they developed a passion for the activity.

“When we moved up to Novice, we were the only kids in Novice,” Fiona said. “They literally had to make the exception for us to go into Novice.”

The sisters are still competing together, almost ten years later. Furthermore, the youngsters are competing well.

“They’ve routinely been in the top ten on a lot of these events,” Phoebe and Fiona’s father Dennis Alverson said. “They’ve developed this confidence where I don’t think I could’ve given them that confidence anywhere else or in any other atmosphere.”

Their age is astounding, but that isn’t the only thing that stands out about them. One of the rare family groups to participate in these activities is the Alverson sisters.

“There aren’t really any other sibling duos that compete with each other anymore,” Phoebe said. “So, it is pretty cool that we have this inner thing that we do together.”

Phoebe typically clings to the rope and follows Fiona when she rides the horse. To ensure that the skier can clear every jump and pass through every gate, the tandem must cooperate.

Although there aren’t many sibling pairs, Fiona claimed that they might have an advantage nonetheless.

“In order to find success, you need communication and trust,” Fiona said. “I think it works out well because we know each other well and can be pretty honest with each other about what we need to do.”

And while to most people it may just appear like a sport, for the Alversons it serves as a barometer for their progress.

“We’ve been doing this for so much longer than it feels like,” Phoebe said. “Just our growth through it has been pretty cool.”


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